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A quantitative insight of the interactions of prescribers with pharmaceutical organization’s representatives in clinical settings of Karachi

Authors Shakeel S, Nesar S, Iffat W, Fatima B, Maqbool T, Jamshed S

Received 28 November 2018

Accepted for publication 29 March 2019

Published 4 July 2019 Volume 2019:8 Pages 75—83


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Jonathan Ling

Sadia Shakeel,1 Shagufta Nesar,2 Wajiha Iffat,1 Bilqees Fatima,2 Tahmina Maqbool,2 Shazia Jamshed3

1Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan; 2Faculty of Pharmacy, Hamdard University, Karachi, Pakistan; 3Department of Pharmacy Practice, International Islamic University Malaysia, Pahang, Malaysia

Objectives: The study was conducted with the aim to evaluate the prescribers’ approach of interaction with medical representatives for drug promotion.
Methods: An explanatory, cross-sectional design was used to evaluate prescribers’ interactions with the medical sales representatives (MSRs) through an anonymous, self-filled questionnaire from June to December 2017. Data presented as means±SEM or as percentages and statistically analyzed by one way ANOVA, using significance level of 0.05.
Results: A response rate of 82.8% was achieved. More than 70% agreed that knowledge obtained from MSRs is reliable and useful. A large proportion of respondents acknowledged that MSRs are a key link between pharmaceutical companies and health care professionals, and their interactions are beneficial as MSRs perform an important teaching function. More than 45% agreed that gifts are influential; however, physicians cannot be compromised with very expensive gifts. The majority of the respondents (76%) considered that promotional items are ethically appropriate; however, 66.21% thought that promotional items influence the practice of prescribing. More than half (52.18%) deemed a promotional material more reliable than a printed advertisement. More than 80% of the respondents opined that medication samples are considered appropriate; however, they should only be given to those patients who cannot financially afford them. Around 69% thought that company-sponsored meetings promote their own drugs under the disguise of CME programs.
Conclusion: The present study emphasizes the importance of employing scientifically sound prescribing decision by prescribers in their day to day practice without being influenced by pharmaceutical company’s promotional activities. There is a need for restricting unprincipled practices by the concerned regulatory authorities to evade preventable harm to the patient’s well-being.

Keywords: Medical sales representatives, physicians, pharmaceutical industry, CME

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